Well, boys and girls, I think it's about time for an update on all things culinary, don't you?
My group's last day in the dining room was also our creepy, sleazy, ponytailed dishwasher Herb's last day. He's moving back to Key West. I wish him well. I hope he finds plenty of teenaged girls there to sexually harass.
As much as I hated the dining room (and being in Chef B's class), I'm kinda sad that it's over. I honestly had a lot of fun in there - it doesn't hurt that my group is awesome - and it was really nice to be making tips! Every Tuesday, Justine, Joanna and I would settle down at the end tables with stacks of napkins and gossip over napkin folding. It was a lovely weekly tradition. Joanna said she was going to skip class on the last Tuesday, but didn't when she realized that it was her last chance for napkin-folding time! I think I'm even going to miss Chef B saying the same things over and over again, first stating it as a fact, and then asking it as a question, and then re-stating the fact. ("This dining room looks really great. Doesn't this dining room look great? This dining room looks great.")
Last week, I started Garde Manger class. We're the ones responsible for putting out the weekly buffet on Fridays. There was a little problem with the scheduling, and the class groups didn't stay together like they were supposed to. Luckily, most of our group has stayed together, but honestly... gossiping over aspic trays just doesn't seem right. The rest of the group aside, I'm especially glad that Ferguson and I are still in the same class - we've had every single culinary lab together so far, and I'll be damned if Team Awesome is going to be broken up now!
(This, of course, means that Scott and I are still in the same group - Scott being the guy with whom I am currently in some sort of relationship. The rest of the group - Ferguson aside - is still completely unaware. I feel as though this will eventually lead to some sort of Ugly Scene. Or it will at least lend itself to some very interesting rumors.)
This class seems like it's going to be a lot of fun. I'm excited for the super-creative aspects of things like aspic trays and canapes, though I am less than excited to be making mousselines and terrines. There's a lot of flexibility to do whatever you want in this class, but on the other hand... a lot of this stuff is super-French. Yuck. I like Chef Rascati a lot - she seems tough, but nice; she seems like the "do whatever you want, just clean up afterward" type. The next eight (er... seven) weeks should be a blast.
My first aspic tray came out swimmingly well! Perhaps it was just beginner's luck... It was a very long, narrow tray (for a single row of canapes, perhaps?) - and I did wispy design in bright green with fennel tops, celery leaves, and curly parsley; on top of that, I made a swirling design out of cloves. I had to dip and place each clove by hand. I'm really happy about it. It's such temporary art, though... you spend two or three days making this painstaking design, and then it's ruined in ten minutes... or it starts to rot...
Anyway, being a culinary kid is fun. Intense, but fun. Geeky, but fun. I had a serious jones for some mac and cheese the other evening, so Scott and I made some - now, when normal people want macaroni and cheese, they bust out the Kraft Easy Mac. But when you get two culinary students in a kitchen making mac and cheese, you wind up spending half an hour perfecting the seasoning in your bechamel. We busted out the freshly-grated nutmeg, ground whole mustard seeds, the whole nine yards. I am such a nerd.
...But damn. It was really really good macaroni and cheese.
**we've shared the laughter and the pain and even shared the tears**